Abortion Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Unlicensed Abortion, All Facilities Closed
by Steven Ertelt
December 8, 2008
San Diego, CA (LifeNews.com) — The owner of a chain of abortion businesses in southern California pleaded guilty at the end of last week to a second set of charges that she did abortions without possessing a medical license. Bertha Pinedo Bugarin’s plea is resulting in the closing of her abortion centers targeting Hispanic women.
In a San Diego county courtroom, Bugarin admitted her guilt in putting women’s lives and health at risk by doing abortions herself despite the fact she’s not a licensed physician.
She could be headed to jail for nine years in association with the charges if sentenced fully on all counts.
Bugarin’s guilty plea came days after she pleaded no contest to similar charges of seven felony counts of unlicensed abortions done in Los Angeles county.
In total, Bugarin faces up to 19 years in prison if sentenced on all counts in both counties. She is scheduled for sentencing in Los Angeles on January 20, and in San Diego on February 6, 2009.
San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis commented after the hearing that "This criminal preyed on women in the Hispanic community and has now been held accountable. By passing herself off as a doctor, she put these women’s lives in serious danger."
Now, the pro-life group Operation Rescue, which has been following the Bugarin case, tells LifeNews.com that all of Bugarin’s abortion centers in the Clinica Medica Para La Mujer abortion facility chain have closed.
Bugarin once owned a chain of 11 abortion centers and she began doing abortions herself when some of the abortion practitioners she employed lost their medical licenses for various reasons.
Nicholas Braemer, the medical director of the abortion centers, surrendered his medical license under pressure in 2000 after Operation Rescue exposed his numerous botched abortions and other problems.
He was replaced as medical director by Laurence Reich, a convicted sex offender, who lost his medical license in 2006 for continued episodes of sexual abuse against his abortion patients. He faces his own trial sometime next year.
OR president Troy Newman says that eviction and utility shut-off notices are now posted on Bugarin’s former abortion offices. Only one, the Santa Ana location, has been reopened under a new owner and continues to operate under another name.
"This is a huge victory for the pro-life movement, and a prime example of how we can use the laws that are on the books to close abortion mills forever," he told LifeNews.com. "Bugarin acted as if she was above the law, as so many abortionists do. The prosecutors did not agree, and now Bugarin should remain behind bars for many years. Thank God."
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